On Wednesday, leaders from Estonia (Alar Karis), Latvia (Egils Levits), Lithuania (Gitanas Nauseda), and Poland (Andrzej Duda) visited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on his own territory. The meeting occurred as the pace of the conflict has slowed while the Russians revamp and replenish their forces that had been operating in the vicinity of Kyiv and Kharkiv for a period of six weeks prior to being recalled. The meeting also comes at a time when NATO nations are getting more aggressive and less afraid of Russian backlash against their commitments to Ukraine.
Poland is one of them. It is at the forefront of actions as the primary source of Ukraine aid. Poland has led in the removal of Russian spy agents and has also provided tanks and infantry combat vehicles to Ukraine. The 100 tanks delivered are superior in quality to the tanks employed by the Russian military in Ukraine.
Lithuania has announced that it will begin training Ukrainian forces in Lithuania, similar to the promise recently declared by the United Kingdom’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, who was in Kyiv this past weekend.
Estonia has become the object of another “denazification” mission by Russia due to its insistence on ensuring that Estonian citizens are fluent in Estonian and are proficient in the basics of Estonian history–as well as rebranding the Russian-centric May 9 celebration of the conclusion of World War II into a day of commemoration of the conflict in Ukraine.
The Baltic States have all ceased imports of Russian gas. Poland will follow suit by 2022's end.
The most important message sent to the public was that of solidarity with Ukraine in the face of the specter of Russia’s crimes against humanity. The focus placed by these heads of state while viewing mass burials and other crime sites sends out a message to the world that they remember the “fraternal occupation” of the Red Army before and during World War II, and they will not let the Russian crime in Ukraine remain unanswered.
We're also seeing a new informal bloc led by Poland forming in the northeastern region of Europe. Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia are all awash with many political, cultural, and economic ties. The conflict in Ukraine is causing them to develop more enduring relations. It will be interesting to see how France and Germany, which believe they are European, will react to this new challenge.